Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chiderah Aalisa, My Black World: Did this Black Man Recieve Justice? I'm still Not Sure


Chiderah Aalisa - YourBlackWorld.com

In April of 2008, Corey Devon Green was sentenced to 297 years in prison. Green, 18, was charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, and stealing the car of a white man named Robert Wimbish. This is not the first story of racial injustice in the Southern court system, but it definitely is an example of one where the truth and hard facts appear to have been brutally ignored.

Theresa Pearson, Green’s mother, is outraged because she feels that her son was not given a fair trial by the Alabama judicial system. Green was arrested for crimes he may not have even committed and given maximum penalty. In the same town of Dothan, a man who killed his own son received a 20 year sentence in April. To the casual observer, the logistics of the case don't seem to add up.

Green was diagnosed at a very young age with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and ADHD, thus classifying him as mentally impaired. Twice a day Green takes doses of medications such as Ridolin for ADD/ADHD, Geodon for Schizophrenia, and Abilify, an antipsychotic medicine for his conditions. He had also been attending special counseling and therapy. Pearson began to notice the discrimination against her son when she had trouble setting up appointments with a therapist. She was constantly told to come back later or try other numbers, and it was months before she secured one.

On the night of August 3rd, 2007, Green ran away from home. Worried, Pearson called the police who returned him home around midnight. Once in the past Green ran away from home because supposed voices in his head told him to. This behavior, listening to voices, is very common in Schizophrenics.

Three days later, on August 6, the police came back to Pearson’s home, arresting Green for crimes they suggested he committed when he ran away. He was accused of the kidnapping, attempt to kill, and robbery of Robert Wimbish, a white Dothan resident who claimed that Green left him near death. Green was 17 years old.

How certain was Wimbish that Green was the one who did it? The following specifics of this trial support Pearson’s argument that her son was wrongfully accused and even more, wrongfully sentenced:

No DNA samples or fingerprints were ever taken or presented in court to match those of Green’s to those found at the scene of the crime or on the victim.

A relative of Pearson claimed that Green had found his way to her house the day he ran away, thus he may not have even been present at the crime scene.

Pearson was given a state attorney, Jack Blumenfeld, after her first state lawyer, Martin Johnson, withdrew from the case in November of 2007. Apparently, Johnson was pressured into dropping the case and had been receiving threats. Could it have been because he was fully capable of winning by presenting truth and evidence? Pearson says yes. She stated, “Everyone knew [Johnson] could win this case, that’s why they made sure he couldn’t take it.”

Blumenfeld seemed uninterested in helping Green or his mother. Pearson recalls that Blumenfeld dismissed all of her son’s medical records as irrelevant to the success of their argument. She is also certain that Blumenfeld never contacted the witnesses who could testify for her son’s defense, as none of them showed up in court.

Pearson was even denied access to her son’s public records when she went to the police to ask for them in January. She said, “They asked me, what do you need them for? We don’t just give them out.”

Pearson also claimed that during a meeting with the District Attorney Doug Valeska, she informed him of Green’s medical conditions but to no avail. She said, “I told him that Corey has medical records that prove he is Schizophrenic and Bipolar…. and he said he knew that…but he don’t believe it’s true.”

The jury for the trial comprised of 11 white men and women, and only one black man. Furthermore, some of the jurors may have even known Judge Lawson Little and Doug Valeska personally.

The victim, Wimbish, is alive and well today. He wrote this note to the editors of the Dothan Eagle, the local newspaper, on April 18, 2008:

“Recently, Judge Lawson Little showed the residents of Houston County how fortunate they are to have such a strong law and order judge serving them. Judge Little gave the maximum sentence and showed no mercy for a heartless criminal, Corey Green.


My entire family and I want to thank Judge Little, Dothan’s law enforcement, District Attorney Doug Valeska and the Southeast Alabama Medical for all they did for me during a horrible experience. When Corey Green tried to kill me and left me for dead, all these people showed mercy and made certain the punishment due to Corey Green was carried out to the maximum of the law.


Hopefully the residents of this area will appreciate the efforts that all these people put into seeing justice done for a long time to come.
Robert Wimbish
Dothan”


Regardless of Green’s involvement in the kidnapping, robbery and assault of Wimbish, (although that should definitely be called into question) the entire case may not have been represented to the best of the lawyer’s ability, nor following the guidelines of the law. Pearson is no lawyer, but she realized this immediately.

According to Ms. Pearson, Green’s mental state should have been taken into account and his medical records presented in court, as should have evidence been taken in the form of fingerprints or DNA at the scene of the crime. Pearson is certain that the color of her son’s skin and his mental state had a lot to do with the carelessness of those handling the case, and the outcome of the sentence. The judicial system is highly dependent upon two groups of people: those in power and unfortunately, as this case is an example of, those with very little voice and financial ability to challenge authority.

Now, a potentially innocent teenager with unstable mental health faces the penalty of 297 years in prison for a crime that does not even match the sentence. Pearson is determined to seek justice. She said, “Too many black folk down [South] let this happen to their kids and don’t do nothing about it…. but not me. I’m going to fight this until they let my baby home, or until God calls me home…whichever comes first.”
Chiderah Nelo Monde-Anumihe is a correspondent for YourBlackWorld.com. If you would like to help with this case in any way, please email us at info@yourblackworld.com.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is horrible...I hope another lawyer or someone else can help them out!



p.s- Chiderah is really pretty.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chiderah, What is the next step for Ms. Pearson and her son?

Chiderah said...

Hello,

Ms. Pearson's hope is that someone (preferrably a lawyer) will be able to pick up on this and look at the entire case and see what, if anything, can be done to change the outcome.

Thank you all for your comments.